The practice of placing unsolicited sales calls can be daunting for any business owner, but the truth remains that it’s still a fairly rewarding marketing technique. So how do you increase your cold calling success while minimizing the discomfort you and the recipient feel?
In a recent BNET.com article entitled “12 Strategies to Make Cold Calling Easier,” author Geoffrey James provides tips designed to help you prepare for the call, execute the call and follow-up the call. The following are 6 of his 12 suggestions:
Before Placing Your Call
1. Pre-qualify your leads. It’s important that you shift through your leads to determine which will be more likely to retain your services. Otherwise you might be wasting precious time on individuals who are not within your target market.
2. Call at the right time. Nothing can jeopardize your success like calling at the wrong time. James recommends early morning or late afternoon on Thursday while avoiding Friday altogether.
During the Call
3. Respect the customer’s time. Gratitude is a powerful thing, and if you communicate genuine gratitude to your prospective client for their time, they are more likely to keep you on the line. And before launching your selling points, be sure you ask if now is a good time to for them to talk.
4. Move the opportunity forward. James explains, “Your first sentence of your script must communicate respect for the customer’s time… The second sentence of the script should mention a customer-oriented benefit without providing details that would normally emerge later. ..”
After Your Call
5. Celebrate wins and losses. Not every call will be a success, and not all losses are straight failures if you’ve learned something from them. Take the time to review your calls and determine what’s worked and what hasn’t. After taking note, you can enhance your approach the next time you place a cold call.
6. Track your success rate. Unless you measure your success, you’ll never know whether or not you’re actually succeeding. As you watch your conversation rates, you’ll be able to recognize times when your approach could be improved and then make the necessary changes.
Cold calling doesn’t have to be a miserable experience. When you discover strategies that make it more rewarding, you’ll find it’s a great way to market your practice. Take the time to enhance your approach now.
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James, Geoffrey. “12 Strategies to Make Cold Calling Easier.” 8 Sept. 2011 BNET.com